Pastel Class Heroes

I love these folks. I swear every time Tuesday rolls around they work their hearts out pushing themselves a bit further with their art skills. It's a pleasure to be their instructor/cheering section. I thought you all might like a peek in on who I get to spend my Tuesdays with. Three worked from a still life I set up on the floor so they could get that bird's eye view that's so fun to do. Three worked on portraits. Joan is a dedicated landscape painter, our only one in the class right now. Trust me, we're a lively, silly, hardworking, opinionated, positive group, and we get to collide once a week for three hours of making the pastel dust fly.

Renewed Enthusiasm!

Since participating in artist Sara Eyestone's workshop a little over a week ago, it feels as though my path is clearer and my vision more focused. I have a busy year ahead doing the things necessary to reflect that vision in my career as a painter. It's still thrilling to experience how quickly the universe responds when you finally decide something.
I'll be revamping my website, creating marketing materials, painting more formal portraits and figural paintings and raising my prices. It's about time, don't you think? Some of you have been fussing at me for a long time about that.
2007 looks like a good year from here.
1) I'm teaching an ongoing pastel class to a great group of artists at the Coppini Academy on Tuesdays. There's room for one or two more in the class if you're interested in playing in all that color with us.
2) I'm taking portrait commissions - anything from fast and loose and relatively inexpensive, to precise and polished, destined for the place of honor over the mantel and to be passed down through generations. Fees are going up later this year, so this is the best time to put your deposit in.
3) I love comments and email! Sure would love to hear from you. Please let me know you came by!

Possible finish of LIKE MOTHER, LIKE SON

Ok, well, I've done as much on this painting as I can see to do. I like it very much. I wish I could've taken the photo references, but I don't always get to.
Will wait for the subjects to see it tomorrow.
For now I'm going to wash my brushes, have a long soak and scrub myself, then go have dinner with friends.
Have a great weekend, everyone!

Further progress on Mother and Son portrait.

Well, the photo looks rather washed out and lavender where there is none, perhaps due to taking it in the evening inside with florescent lights, but the painting is pleasing me so far. Still much to do. I'll move her shoulder up by a quarter of an inch and darken her hair... it has more black with deep brown/red highlights, and the cleft in her chin isn't quite so prominent, although there. I haven't painted the son's collar or tie yet and much needs refining. But it's coming along. My dad has supplied the title, LIKE MOTHER, LIKE SON, which I love.

San Antonio's freeze has melted and we're all breathing a sigh of relief.

Wrap up warmly, Folks!

progress on Mother and Son portrait.

I'm a bit reluctant to put this progress image up lest someone think I'm anywhere near done. This is still pretty rough. I'm just glad to have gotten the white of the canvas covered (except for the little boy's shirt and parts of his tie).

It's two a.m. and I'll start fresh tomorrow.

Plug in those electric blankets, folks.

Pastel Class demo of Karen

This was fun. Four of us, plus Karen, braved the icy rain and treacherous streets to come to class today. Karen sat for me to do a portrait demonstration and two others took the opportunity to paint her while we had a model. This is two hours' work on a prepared board with fine pumice gel tinted with a quinacridone gold and a household brush, so the texture of the brushstrokes underneath show through quite a lot.
Now I'm working on the mother and son in oil. Will post something soon.
Stay warm, everyone!

I'm calling Desert Dancers done!

Ahhhh! I like how this painting has the zig-zag visual trail through it, with the blooms dancing above it all. There's an interesting mix of detailed and only-suggested elements, too.
Did you know you can see any of these images much larger just by clicking on them? (Just in case you want to zoom in on some part of it.)
I have a patient in a few minutes and then I'm going walking with both my Karens. We do a four mile walk once or twice a week. This will be our second, plus Karen W. and I went a third time for 2 and a half miles on Tuesday. My body craves the walking and I'm grateful for the company.
Next painting.... the 18"x 24" oil portrait of the beautiful mother and her cutie-pie son. Will keep you posted.

Progress on "Desert Dancers"

Well, I'm feeling better about this painting now. Still hours to go, but thought I'd post what I painted today.

I'm eager to get started on the oil portrait commission of the mother and son! Maybe by Friday? We'll see.

Self portrait in pastel

This is a small 9"x12" pastel on Art Spectrum's Colourfix sanded surface. I did this at the Coppini Academy where I teach a pastel class on Tuesdays. It was right after New Year's and only one student knew we had class that day, so I had lots of time to work on this. It was the first time I'd worked from a mirror in ages, and I enjoyed it.

I'm still working on the landscape painting for the Austin Pastel Society's deadline of Friday. Will try to post another progress image later today.

I bought a new kind of canvas for the oil portrait I'm beginning this weekend. It's made for watercolor on canvas, but the only difference is that it's a very finer weave cotton, which should result in a nicer portrait.
I love it when you leave me comments. Please do!

Start of large landscape pastel

This is a two-hour start on an 18" x 24" pastel on a deep brown sanded surface. I'm intending it as one of my two entries to the Austin Pastel Society's annual membership exhibition ...deadline for submission of images: Friday.
I'll post progress shots as I go.
I teach the pastel class at Coppini tomorrow, so progress will have to wait until tomorrow evening.
Now, to sleep....zzz

Two commissions out, New one of two IN.

I framed these Thursday evening and they were picked up on Friday. Everything about that commission was pleasurable. The people were lovely, inside and out, the painting went well and they were very pleased. It's the model for all future commissions.
Yesterday I met with a sweet, beautiful woman and her adorable almost-twelve-year-old son to begin a commissioned oil portrait of the two of them. It will be 18" x 24" and mostly done from a studio photo she has. There will be a few changes of color... her jacket and background all blend together in the photo to make it appear as if she's disembodied.. and the direction of her gaze will be changed from a left gaze to directly at the viewer to match her son's gaze. We're also leaving out her hand on her son's shoulder. I'll post progress images as I go.
I'm still suffering a bit on the decision over a new painting (as yet not begun) for the Austin Pastel Society's annual exhibition. The digital image of the finished painting must be sent by this Friday. Out of character, I'm leaning a bit toward a landscape. It's more a close-up of a desert plant (will have to find out its name) with a canyon landscape in its background. I'm so attracted by the composition and value contrasts. And maybe by the challenge.